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Basics of Wisconsin Water Law

Learn about the important legal issues related to surface water, drinking water, and groundwater. Get the latest information about the nonpoint source discharge and management codes such as NR 151 and 216. Gain valuable insight into water quality standards, waste water management, and point source discharges addressed in codes NR 102 and 106.

Understand groundwater ownership and withdrawal rights. Learn how to analyse cases based upon code NR 820

Gain an appreciation of the regional water issues and the Great Lakes Water Compact.



Greeting and Administrative Matters - Donald P. Gallo (RBV) (8:00 a.m.)

Introduction to Water Law - Carolyn A. Sullivan (RBV) (8:05-8:50 a.m.)
• The Public Trust Doctrine: History and Overview
• Riparian Rights
• Ordinary High Water Mark
• Surface Water Diversion
• Navigable Waters and Wetlands
• Chapter 30 Permits

Shorelands, Piers, and Private Lake Access Rights - Dean B. Richards (RBV) (9:00-9:50 a.m.)
• Shoreland Protection (including Wis. Admin. Code ch. NR 115)
• Piers
• Private Lake Access Rights

Drinking Water and Groundwater - Donald P. Gallo (RBV) (10:00-10:50 a.m.)
• Groundwater Quantity
Ownership/Withdrawal Rights (Reasonable Use, Overlying Property Owner)
Groundwater Quantity Law of 2003/Wis. Admin. Code ch. NR 820
East Troy water supply versus lake levels
Large Capacity Wells and Recordkeeping
• Groundwater Quality/Wis. Admin. Code ch. NR 140

Point and Nonpoint Source Discharges - Jeffrey A. Morris (RBV) (11:00-11:50 p.m.)
• Point Source Discharges/Wastewater Management
NPDES Permit Program
Emerging Issues: Phosphorous and Thermal Water Quality Standards, TMDL Development
• Nonpoint Source Discharges/Runoff Management
Storm Water Runoff
Agricultural Runoff
Emerging Issues: Proposed Changes to Surface Water Regulations and Permitting, Contaminated Sediment


Flood Control, Watershed Restoration, Excess Wet Weather Flow Treatment
Kevin Shafer (MMSD)/Tim Bate (MMSD) (1:00-1:50 p.m.)
• Flood Management
• Watershed Restoration Plans
• Excess Wet Weather Flow Treatment

Great Lakes Compact and Practical Applications - Daniel S. Duchniak (WWU) (2:00-3:15 p.m.)
• Withdrawals (Wis. Stat. § 281.346(4m) and Diversions (Wis. Stat. § 281.346(4))
• WDNR Great Lakes Compact Regulations Development
• Case Studies: New Berlin and Waukesha
• Technical Requirements (Registration, Reporting, Fees, Conservation, Return Flow, and Area Plans)
• Legal Requirements (EAs and EISs)
• Social and Policy Issues (City of Cleveland, Ohio, City of Milwaukee ordinance)
• Chicago Diversion, Asian Carp, and Invasive Species in Wisconsin Waters
• SEWRPC Regional Water Supply Plan for Southeastern Wisconsin
• Great Lakes Restoration Initiative

Southeastern Wisconsin Water Initiatives/Updates - Dean Amhaus (Milwaukee Water Council) (3:25-4:15)
• Milwaukee Water Council - Background, Initiatives, Programs, and Goals
• Collaboration
Wisconsin Department of Commerce Clusters: water, biofuel, energy
Wisconsin Energy Resource Consortium
Milwaukee 7
• Alliance for Water Stewardship
• IBM's Smarter Cities/Aquaponics
• WAVE Districts

Panel Discussion: Looking Forward - Issues Pertaining to a Comprehensive State Water Policy (4:15-4:45 p.m.)
• Dean Amhaus, Dan Duchniak and Don Gallo

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This program can be applied toward the:

Lawyers note that we are applying for approval for you to get CLEs when you attend this course.
Dates and locations to be announced.
Fee: $295
CEUs: 0.7, PDHs: 7
Email us with your interest, contact:
Marcia Gabriel,, 414-227-3378
Murali Vedula,, 414-227-3121


Fall 2015 Water Technology Brochure

Or download the pdf